Effectiveness of Regional Innovation Actions: Cases from Small, Low-Innovative Regions

Abstract

This paper attempts to identify the suitability of centrally and remotely designed innovation-related regional actions, examining the case of regions that started innovative activities from a low development level. Using the case of two Greek regions, the present paper analyses the legacy left to the regional systems by a series of regional innovation programs, whose main priorities were designed centrally without any regional consultation. After a brief presentation of the analysis framework, it discusses the actions of four programs that were implemented in the two cases from 1997 until 2008, namely, the Regional Innovation System (RIS), Regional Innovation Strategy + (RIS+), Innovative Actions, and Innovation Poles. The findings suggest that these programs often provide the means for generating the first steps towards the creation of an Innovation System at regional level; however, because of an economic and knowledge environment that is not matured to support innovation, they create a dependency on publicly funded programs. As a consequence, a vicious circle is created, leading the regional actors to direct most often their applications and actions to the centrally designed priorities, instead of identifying regional needs and priorities and without a systemic view of the industrial and developmental needs of the region. Evidently, this leads to fragmented actions and the inability to sustain those actions after the completion of the programs.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Regional Innovation Strategies, OECD, www.oecd.org/innovation/policyplatform

  2. 2.

    Regional Innovation Monitor Plus, region of Western Macedonia, https://webgate.acceptance.ec.europa.eu/ENTR/rim_cp/base-profile/region-western-macedonia

  3. 3.

    Impact of the Crisis on Research and Innovation Policies. EU, 2013.

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Correspondence to Elpida Samara.

Appendix

Appendix

Table 5 Innovative actions implemented in the regions
Table 6 Actions undertaken in Western Macedonia under the RIS, RIS+, Innovative Actions, and Innovation Poles
Table 7 Actions undertaken in Thessaly under RIS, RIS+, Innovative Actions, and Innovation Poles

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Samara, E., Galanakis, K., Bakouros, I. et al. Effectiveness of Regional Innovation Actions: Cases from Small, Low-Innovative Regions. J Knowl Econ 11, 140–173 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13132-018-0518-0

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Keywords

  • Regional innovation systems
  • Regional innovation strategies
  • Innovation policy